So my hubby has just been told he has high cholesterol... His HDL levels were good, but his LDL levels were high... 5.3 where the upper limit is 5.2, though I don't know the units (he had a very rushed visit with the nurse who scrawled some numbers on a post-it note, we don't have the full bloodwork results).
They gave him a photocopied sheet of all the "heart-healthy" foods, a kind of "so you have high cholesterol" guideline sheet. And of course, it's all no-fat this, lean that, no butter, no lard, etc etc.
Over the past several years I've been moving us in the direction of TF diet... We don't drink a lot of milk, but what we use is organic full-fat. I use real butter and render my own lard, I save bacon grease and use it in all kinds of things. I've read some of the stuff about saturated fat being the scapegoat based on faulty research that's never been properly challenged. It just makes sense to me that our bodies are designed to need and use animal fats.
I got some vindication when I had blood tests done myself last year -- my cholesterol levels, high and low, were perfect. Textbook. And I have some other issues going on, genetic high blood pressure (not affected by diet/exercise/etc) for instance, low iron and B12 (will be evaluating for pernicious anemia after the current course of treatment). But cholesterol? No problem. Low-fat suggestions be away with you, TF works.
Now we get hubby's results and they're the opposite of mine. Good grief, between the two of us I'm the one with the worse diet (I have the greater tendency to overeat and to splurge on junk food). He gets lots of exercise... he runs, he's swims, he jogs, he curls... I'm a lump on the couch (though I'm trying to improve heh). His blood pressure is even on the LOW end of normal, his resting heart rate is 60 or LESS.
So this just doesn't make sense to me...
And even assuming it's accurate... what do we do about it now? Switching to the ultra-low-fat diet just feels so wrong to me now. I mean, anything that low-fat is extra processed, or has junk added to it to replace the taste that comes from the fat. It doesn't make sense that a high-processed diet is "healthier." But if I insist that we keep doing what we're doing, I don't know if he'd go along with it. He was already anxious about his cholesterol, that's why he asked for the bloodwork even though he's healthy, it's just something that's been gnawing at him for years (we didn't have a family dr until last year). He's only 38. If he thinks I'm not concerned about his health that I'm not willing to change our diet for his sake... well I know *I* wouldn't appreciate that if roles were reversed.
And I really don't like the idea of having to keep 2 kinds of food in the house... My daughter is only 4, she needs full-fat everything whatever food philosophy you subscribe to (and she's a beanpole). My 12yo son is on medication that reduces his appetite, and he's a stick to begin with, we need to pack as much punch into what he eats as we can. So if DH goes no-fat, he would need separate food. And I'd have to cook separate meals... all the bacon fat, lard, etc... sigh. I'm trying to SIMPLIFY, not add complexity...
And I don't even know that it's necessary, despite what the medical establishment says. I've read some stuff (but don't fully understand or remember it) about how cholesterol tests are meaningless, or unrelated, that it doesn't directly measure cholesterol anyway, or there's corelation but no causation, or I don't know what. But if we SHOULD be changing things for hubby's sake, I don't want to not do so just because I'm stubborn and don't want to believe the mainstream doctor, you know?
So... what's the deal with cholesterol?